Nothing sloppy

I’ve pretty much written for the lower grade newspapers, magazines and websites all my life but I always had a good attitude and was quite pleased I was getting published. Low-grades have a reputation of being inferior at least to my mind. The standard required is lower, but what I found was a sense of getting things done and genuine interestedness in what was being produced. Even publications with lower expectations have a good work ethic. There was no sloppiness. I did get published occasionally in the higher grade newspapers and magazines but mostly in the tried and true.

If someone did an official obituary of my life and commented on my career I would be described as a writer who was published in the low-grade publications for much of his career (and some comment to the quality of my work and my traits as a writer). Strangely, writing in the lower-grades gave me a sense of ego that I could go further in my writing career, even get a script produced or a novel.

That instinct has diminished over time although the flaws in my work have ironed out and the flow of my writing has become a lot better. I approached novel publishers with a sense I could get in. In terms of getting that book published, my usual view is I got to have a publisher lined up, one I can approach. These days, I am more interested in the writing of it whatever the results. Just write it and think about the publisher later.

It would be an achievement for a lower-grade writer to get a book published, but I understand from reading obituaries that artists do get opportunities to go the next level in their career although I hasten to say that one may be ‘hanging out’ for a while in their tried and true publications as that’s their reality. Besides, one shouldn’t sell their soul for the promise of something more if it ever came to that. Writing is more about purpose than success. Jesus does not judge us by how “big” we are in the world but by what we do with him. I hope to write productive things rather than serve the whims of another human being who may not have the right approach.

Borders

I told the ed. : who have you seen like Mr.? That can deliver like Mr.? No one I tell you. But he put up borders. I was from here, he was from there. Borders are a problem for writers, if one’s not a local, trying to write internationally, and international writers are an issue for the publication you are trying to write for. You can get in there, though, without telling them, using cunning and their sheer trust and ignorance. But you may get found out and they have a problem with non-locals writing for local publications. The publication’s national pride could be a reason for such circumspect behavior. Some publishers are insular looking and very sensitive to local authenticity and accuracy. They may say, “Don’t want a foreigner writing about our issues” or whatever it happens to be, even if generic or general issues that affect everyone. Maybe getting sidelined because you are from another country is that the publication likes to serve “their own”. It comes down to “family”. But then that excludes the human family. That is a contradiction and problem. Therefore, borders are always going to be a problem for a writer, but getting in there is not impossible. With an unidentifiable email and an open minded editor, who may even know your real identify somehow, but who may give you a chance, you may get around the bureaucracy and get some credits and money. Until someone else finds out and resists the temptation of beautiful work. But never approach a publisher if they say “no international writers wanted” in their writer’s guidelines. That would be unethical if you did.